What is RSI?

2 August 2017

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a condition characterised by the pain and inflammation in muscles, nerves and tendons from overuse and repetition of similar movements. It mainly affects the limbs of the upper body including wrists, arms, elbows, shoulders and neck, and can be exacerbated by cold temperatures, vibrating machinery and poor posture. Here at Wrist Supports, we have put together a little guide teaching you about RSI and how to prevent it.

What is RSI?

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a general term used to describe pain felt in the muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse. It's also known as a work-related upper limb condition, as it is often brought about by repetitive activities in the workplace, and mainly affects parts of the body such as forearms, elbows, wrists, hands, neck and shoulders. 

Symptoms of RSI

RSI usually develops gradually, and symptoms can range from mild to extremely severe. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Pain, aching or tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Weakness
  • Throbbing
  • Cramps

At first, these symptoms may only occur when you are carrying out a particular repetitive action, and fade as soon as you stop. However without proper treatment, these symptoms will eventually worsen and become constant, even when resting.

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is caused when muscle and tendons are overused from repetitive activites

What Causes RSI?

RSI is related to the overuse of the muscles and tendons in the upper extremities through repetitive activities. This means that a variety of jobs can lead to RSI, including working at an assembly line in a factory, scanning groceries at a supermarket checkout, or typing at a computer in an office.

Doing high-intensity activities for long periods of time, like intensive exercise, without rest can also contribute to RSI. Cold temperatures and vibrating equipment, such as pneumatic drills, are also thought to make symptoms worse, with stress being another big contributing factor.

Treatment of RSI

The first step of treating RSI is usually to identify and modify the task that is causing pain. In some cases, it may be best to stop doing the activity altogether. It is important to go and see your doctor so that you can discuss your treatment options, which can include:

  • Medication, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
  • Cold packs, wrist supports or a splint
  • Physiotherapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Corrective surgery

Many long-term suffers of RSI also try more holistic therapies and relaxation techniques to complement treatment and help relieve symptoms, such as yoga, acupuncture and the Alexander technique.

People who spend periods of time at a computer are vulnerable to developing RSI

How to Prevent RSI

Avoid sitting in an awkward position as you work; maintaining a good posture can do wonders at keeping RSI at bay. If you work at a computer, make sure your lower back is supported, keep your feet flat on the ground, and make sure that your keyboard and mouse are positioned in a way that keeps your wrists straight. If you can help it, take regular breaks away from long and repetitive tasks, as it is often better to take frequent breaks rather than one long lunch break.

Wrist Supports for RSI

Here are WristSupports.co.uk, we have a large range of expertly selected products that have been designed to relieve problems associated with RSI. All of our wrist braces are designed to keep your wrist straight as you recover, so that you can soon go about your daily activities as normal.

So don't delay, browse our Wrist Supports for RSI today!


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